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November 26, 2018

Ep.1049: Are You a Mary or a Martha?

Powerful life lessons from two friends of Jesus

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CHAPTERS

[00:17:13]
What do their lives teach us about ourselves?


[00:36:44]
What is the lesson of Martha's correction?


[00:54:40]
How do the sisters respond when their brother dies?


[01:12:10]
How does their faith and growth come full circle?


Theme Scripture: Luke 10:41-42

Let’s face it – the Bible really does a lot of focusing on men. Adam was created before Eve, Noah saved humanity and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were the patriarchs of the nation of Israel. The prophets, Jesus and the Apostles – all men. So where does that leave the women of the Bible? The answer to this is actually astounding! The women of the Bible are left to quietly teach us some of the most powerful and significant lessons the Scriptures have to offer. Finding these lessons is like uncovering rare and telling archeological artifacts that vividly reveal deep biblical truths. Such are the lessons we receive from Mary and Martha, sisters of Lazarus and close friends of Jesus. Their conversations with and actions towards Jesus speak volumes - not only of their importance in HIS life, but also of their abiding place in our lives as well.

Continue Reading

It is unusual to say that Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus were close friends of Jesus because we don’t think of Jesus as having close friends.  He had apostles, and Peter, James and John seemed to have been closest to him among the twelve.  He had followers both men and women, and a few names do come up as being close to him, but they were followers.  Martha, Mary and Lazarus were his friends.  He is recorded as going to their home often as a place of rest and recuperation.  This would have been important to Jesus, as he is not recorded as frequenting anyone else’s home for such comfort.

There are a few subtle and really profound hints in Scripture that speak to the importance of Martha and Mary in the life of Jesus.  One of those hints is about Martha complaining.  We usually think of Martha as the one who Jesus had to reprimand.  Her gripe to Jesus was that her sister was sitting at his feet instead of helping her with the hospitality responsibilities.  Jesus gently responded to her that she was overly concerned with such things and to let Mary be.  This causes us to think that Martha was a frenzied almost half-hearted follower of Jesus, yet nothing is further from the truth!  The way Jesus responded to her speaks volumes to her importance.

His response was, “Martha, Martha!”  The amazing thing is that there are only ten instances in the Bible where a name is repeated that way.  Each of these examples shows how very special those people were, for in Jewish culture such a repetition was recognition of endearment.  It turns out that Martha becomes an absolute hero and example for us along side of her sister Mary.

This is just the very tip of the iceberg regarding the deep and life-changing insights we can apply from Martha and Mary.  Check out our November 26, 2018 podcast, “Are You a Mary or a Martha?” and join us for what turns out to be a thrilling ride of discovery into the characters of these two women.  There are few words written about them, but pound for pound those words carry a truly mind-boggling impact!

 

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June 22, 2020

VIDEO: What Does it Mean to be a Warrior for Truth? David and Abigail – Warriors of God Series

Abigail diffused David’s anger and averted him from disaster.  Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.

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June 22, 2020

Ep.1131: What Does it Mean to be a Warrior for Truth? David and Abigail – Warriors of God Series

The power of wisdom and tact when facing angry opposition

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CHAPTERS

[00:21:19]
Do we get angry when people don't react the way we think they should?


[00:41:04]
What did Abigail do to diffuse David's anger, saving her household from slaughter?


[00:56:30]
Who is YOUR Abigail?


Theme Scripture: Proverbs 25:11-12

The spectacular biblical account of David reveals him as a warrior for God, as he protected God’s principles and righteousness. See the first episode of this series for more. It also reveals David as a man of mighty faults. He committed many grievous errors with sad consequences. We explored one of these in our second episode of this series.  Most importantly, David was also a man who never stopped trying to do better and inspire the people he led. He truly was God’s warrior, a man after God’s own heart. Know this: true warriors for God never were and should never be limited to just men.

Continue Reading

Abigail's example

Abigail is one of the treasured women of the Bible who was also one of God’s warriors. When faced with potential slaughter, she calmly deescalated serious tensions, saving many lives. Her love for God was unmistakable. The example of Abigail's behavior under pressure commands attention and respect. This beautiful woman is an inspiring example.

Life is a series of experiences and choices. When a new event happens that is harsh and catches us off guard, we often simply react based on our surprise and emotion. This generally is not the best course of action, and we usually end up with a bigger issue as a result. David fell into this trap. He was taken advantage of and insulted. His reaction was fierce – rage-filled warrior fierce. He gave no thought to choosing a righteous and integrity-filled response in place of the rage. The stage was set for death and disaster until Abigail, a godly woman of Israel, stepped up. She stood in front of David’s speeding train of anger and caused it to screech to a halt.

Preparation from God

This sounds like the drama from an adventure story, but it's better because it’s true!  What we really want to know is what happened for Abigail to be able to avert disaster? Turns out there were many things in both David and Abigail’s lives that led them to this dramatic moment. For David, his pathway had already been filled with drama. Up to the point of his fateful meeting with Abigail, he had slain a giant and served King Saul as a mighty warrior. David had become fast friends with Jonathan, the son of the king. Saul then turned on David. He was now an exile in his own country, hiding in caves for his very life. All these experiences fed David all he needed to make right choices in tough times.

Check out our June 22, 2020 podcast, “What Does it Mean to be a Warrior for Truth?” for more. We put the pieces of David’s life in order leading up to what would be a destiny-defining moment. We observe Abigail’s being thrust into the role of not just peacemaker, but wise and godly counselor as well. Their story gives us a genuine grip on handling our own anger and rage. It helps us to see the value of those worthy of trust. It reminds us of the consequences of unbridled emotion.

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June 15, 2020

Ep.1130: How Can I Fight for God’s Purposes Like King David? Warriors of God Series

The process of godly works overcoming our sinful mistakes

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CHAPTERS

[00:13:38]
What steps can we take to avoid temptation?


[00:31:07]
How does David teach us to take care of holy things?


[00:45:12]
How can we prevent getting careless with what God considers holy?


[01:03:31]
How do we react when God doesn't let us do what we want?


Theme Scripture: 1 Chronicles 17:16

David was a hero and anointed to become the king of Israel.  Long before he assumed the throne, he defeated Goliath in battle, contributed to the sovereignty and protection of Israel and faithfully served under King Saul.  All this happened before he was 25 years old.  Though he became a fugitive when King Saul turned on him, he never betrayed the king or God.  Many years later when he finally became king, he was a mighty and God-focused leader.

Continue Reading

This almost sounds like a happily ever after story, but it is not.  David committed some horrible sins along the way that created havoc and cost lives.  His sins are some of the most well-known in all of Scripture!  With so many bad choices, how did David maintain a godly perspective?  How did he continually fight for God’s purposes?  What can we learn from the rollercoaster of David’s life to enhance our attempts to be warriors for God?

David’s faith, courage and fidelity to God had been seriously tested in the many years from the slaying of Goliath to his crowning as king.  The lessons he learned along the way were significant in number and scope.  Once David was king, he led and protected the people of Israel convincingly.  This shepherd/poet turned hero, turned warrior, turned exile, turned king showed his loyalty to God and love for the people at every step.  Things could not have seemed to be any better for Israel and especially for David himself.

Bathsheba

It was then that the subtle trap of power and complacency was sprung.  We all know of the story of David’s sins with Bathsheba.  It's common knowledge how David fell prey to his own desire.  That desire so hideously warped his conscience and loyalty to God.  His fall was epic, and his crawl back to God’s grace and favor was inspiring.

The Ark of the Covenant

We often lose sight of the many other experiences that David had as king.  This is unfortunate, as we can't define a man by a few short periods of his life or one landmark experience.  David’s legacy must include his incredible journey to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to Israel.  The Ark represented the presence of God.  As such, needed to be properly restored to its sacred position. This account again reveals David’s profound love for God as well as the mistakes he made in showing that love.

David’s experiences overflow with life-changing lessons.  One of the most spectacular and yet unsung stories of his life was how he uniquely served God near its end. Check out our June 15, 2020 podcast, “How Can I Fight for God’s Purposes Like King David?” for more.  We uncover some amazing details of all these accounts and see their hidden lessons.  Putting this all together, especially with David’s godly end-of-life devotion, really shows us why he was called "a man after God’s own heart."  Listen in and get to know David like you never have before!

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(0)

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May 11, 2020

Ep.1125: Does My Anxiety or Depression Invalidate My Christianity? (Part II)

Revealing the protective building blocks needed to repel my anxiety

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CHAPTERS

[00:16:50]
What are the symptoms of an anxiety attack?


[00:36:07]
Is having an anxiety attack a lack of faith or a physiological response?


[01:00:21]
How can we decide on developing new habits?


[01:15:02]
What happens if we have a relapse?


Theme Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:7

Everyone at times in their life feels anxiety.  Sometimes it is a simple reaction to having to do or say something that we would rather avoid.  Other times it is a more powerful reaction that lingers and may even cause us interrupted sleep or a lack of focus.  These are feelings of anxiety.  They are common and they are solvable.  The big issue comes when the anxiety we face becomes a crippling and exhausting current of fear.  It sweeps us off our feet and pulls us away from our normal routines with an overwhelming riptide-like intensity.

Continue Reading

For some of us this anxiety can last for months, years or a lifetime.  For a Christian, the piercing questions that may rise from this are, where is my reliance on God?  Does my crippled response to this fear prove my faith to be nothing more than words?  Am I a hypocrite?  Hard question like these deserve strong and decisive answers and today we will find them!

There is no better way to try and answer hard questions like these than to talk to someone who has personally walked the crooked and uneven road of anxiety. Kylie Odetta, a Christian and brilliant singer and songwriter has walked such a road.  We were able to catch up with her and listen to her story.  It was both captivating and revealing.

Kylie's story

Kylie’s story begins in the same place so many others with anxiety begin.  She had always been a sensitive person, feeling emotions very deeply.  She then went through a hard transitional experience along with some other family issues.  It was at this point the small and gnawing fears of life that had quietly collected over time all suddenly became real.  Each and every little fear now barreled to the front of her mind and planted itself in a life-altering position.  She went from being the creative, sure and outgoing Kylie to living in the trapped spaces of her fearful and overwhelming thoughts.

This same pattern of experience is tragically true for millions and millions of people.  For many, when anxiety presents itself it systematically takes their lives as its captive.  Fortunately, there is great news about all of this as there are many available approaches and many kinds of answers.  As we listened to Kylie’s story develop, we  uncovered tools in the form of "anxiety-breaking building blocks."

Check out our May 11, 2020 podcast, “Does My Anxiety or Depression Invalidate My Christianity? (Part II).”  We apply the learning and foundation received from Part 1.  We then combine it with the very practical and relatable building blocks from Kylie’s story plus Scripture here in Part II.  The result is HOPE.  Whether you yourself experience anxiety or someone you care about does, there is hope.  Whether you do or do not need medication in your struggles , there is hope.  Listen in, be fueled with this hope and then put it to work! Click here for Part III about depression and anxiety specifically in children.

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May 04, 2020

Ep.1124: Does My Anxiety or Depression Invalidate My Christianity? (Part I)

Understanding how anxiety and depression affect my Christianity

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View Series

CHAPTERS

[00:17:19]
What does depression and anxiety look like?


[00:34:09]
What about the stigma of mental illness?


[00:54:10]
What about the treatment for mental illness? Is knowing Jesus enough?


[01:10:59]
How can we reach out to help?


Theme Scripture: Isaiah 42:3

For many of us, daily life is a secret struggle.  Some of us go through the motions of our daily routines while inwardly carrying overwhelming fear and anxiety.  We don’t want to share what we feel as it is not only embarrassing, it is impossible to describe.  For others of us, even our daily routines at times are themselves overwhelming.  We feel as though we are thoroughly alone and relegated to a place of gloom and darkness.  There seems to be no answer.  Often it feels like there is no hope.  I am describing anxiety and depression.

Continue Reading

While these challenges are incredibly common, they are also incredibly misunderstood.  As Christians, we face these kinds of issues just like everyone else. The question is, what do we expect?  Do we expect our faith to be like a magic pill that can make things better?  Do we expect ourselves to be diminished in God’s eyes because we can’t “feel” our faith?  What does God expect?  What is possible for us to expect?

The first step in trying to manage anxiety and depression is to try and understand what we are dealing with.  To best do this, we turned to professionals and interviewed two sisters (identical twins, no less) who are APRN’s in psychiatry.   Jane and Joan Landino were with us throughout this episode and plainly explained many aspects of anxiety and depression the average person just doesn’t know about.  Their input and insight are enlightening and refreshing.

What's the difference between anxiety and depression?

Both anxiety and depression can be debilitating.  In my own words, anxiety can be like a creeping fear that finds you and latches on to your everyday.  You don’t really know why its there.  You can’t really explain it logically.  You go through your days and this unwelcome intruder follows you around, even as you engage and accomplish things.  To me, anxiety is a little bit like termites - present but unseen.  It is basically non-descript as it eats away at your heart and mind.

Depression is very different.  Again, in my own words, depression deflates you.  It takes the air out of your tires.  It makes it feel as though moving forward requires far more effort than you can muster.  The fears of anxiety are now in overdrive, and it feels like there is an ever-growing weight to any and all aspects of life.  While anxiety plagues you as you push your way through life, depression derails you and makes you want to check out of normal activities.

What does all this mean for a Christian?  Plenty.  Check out our May 4, 2020 episode, “Does My Anxiety or Depression Invalidate My Christianity?” for more.  The good news is, these things are more common than you think and more treatable than you might imagine.  As a Christian, your faithfulness to God and following Jesus is not judged on whether you have anxiety or depression.  On the contrary, God’s mercy is available to help us walk through whatever our trials and circumstances may be.  Listen in, find hope and then head to Part II for more!

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May 04, 2020

VIDEO: Does My Anxiety or Depression Invalidate My Christianity? (Part 1)

What are anxiety and depression? Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.

(2)

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Ep.1122: Should the Coronavirus Change My Christianity?

Building a foundation to manage information, isolation and fear

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CHAPTERS

[00:19:00]
What strength can we gain from the Apostle Paul's attitude while in prison?


[00:35:23]
How do we handle the isolation that comes with this pandemic? (Interview with Rick's mom)


[00:51:57]
How do we handle the loneliness, anxiety and anger that comes with this pandemic?


[01:10:21]
Why is God permitting this to happen?


Theme Scripture: Philippians 4:6

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc.  The virus itself is bad enough, but for most of us the havoc comes from what has been put in place to keep it from spreading.  Jobs have been lost, social, religious and family gatherings are all on hold.  We are supposed to just stay home.  It feels like we have had enough.  Boredom, restlessness, anxiety and depression are becoming our daily companions.  Our personal desperation will likely continue to increase, as there is no clear-cut pathway yet revealed to ending this chapter of life.  What do we do?  As Christians, how do we manage the rules that hinder our worship? The over abundance of editorialized information?  The isolation, the anxiety and the fear that drags on?

Continue Reading

Let’s take a few steps back and put all these things in order so we can have a plan and work that plan.

Should we be defiant?

In these unprecedented and tricky times, we as Christians need to be sure of where we stand.  What is our position as local governments are asking (and sometimes telling) us to not meet together for worship?  Are we compliant or defiant?  Do we cite the Apostle Peter when he was taken by the authorities and told not to preach?  In Acts chapter 5 he boldly said, “We must obey God rather than men!”  Should this be the Christians’ battle cry in these uncertain times?  Actually, no!

There is a world of difference between what Peter was dealing with and our current conditions.  He was preaching the word to enlighten unbelievers at his own peril.  We, on the other hand, are wanting to meet together with other believers for our own benefit. We potentially put others in peril as we risk the spreading of a highly contagious virus.  A spiritually-minded Christian should embrace the value of sacrificially protecting others, especially the elderly when we have opportunity to do so.

What about isolation?

How about handling isolation?  How do we as Christians go about managing such a foreign task?  Once again, the Scriptures present us with a clear pathway to follow.  In several of the Apostle Paul’s writings he gives us solid foundation points to be able to cope with isolation.  After all, he knew all about isolation and showed us how to make the most of it.

Check out our April 20,2020 podcast, “Should the Coronavirus Change My Christianity?”  We delve deeply into managing isolation and hear from a faithful Christian woman in her 80’s about how she does it.  Then wee tackle managing the information that is thrown at us everyday and learn techniques to parse through it.  We hear from a Christian woman who is a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practitioner) on handling the fear, stress, anger and loneliness we may be fighting.  This episode lays out the profound scriptural beauty of how and why God permits evil, sickness and death.  The bottom line is this:  We are inviting you to let us walk with you through these hard and trying times.  Together we can not only make it, we can shine the light of God’s love along the way!

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March 16, 2020

Ep.1117: How Do I Avoid Burnout? (Part II)

Finding the biblical pathway that leads us away from burnout

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CHAPTERS

[00:22:13]
It's one thing to admit we are overwhelmed. How do we manage all we need to do?


[00:38:14]
How do we take steps to remove the fuel of burnout?


[00:52:31]
Why doesn't burn out just go away once we recognize it?


[01:04:39]
What does victory over burnout look like?


Theme Scripture: Job 10;1

Burnout is nasty.  As we found out in Part I of our two-part series, it can demoralize and diminish the efforts and quality of care from medical professionals and first responders.  But it doesn't stop there.  Even though the rest of us may not have other’s lives in our hands, burnout is more than capable of continuing to ruin lives...if we let it.  The good news about this ever-growing and worrisome phenomena is that it can be handled.  For regular people who get overly inundated with the unrelenting pressures of work, family and social issues, there are answers.  Or, if we find ourselves feeling like we are drowning under the weight of Christian responsibilities, there are answers.  The really good news is these answers have both biblical and medical foundations!

Continue Reading
ns!

Our focus on burnout in medical professionals and first responders in Part I gave us a foundation.  Part II continued building by focusing on you and me and the daily challenges we encounter through our jobs and life experience.  We saw the exact same debilitating process at work.

Oour burnout heroes: Moses and Elijah

There is no better way to understand this power of burnout than to see it displayed in the life of some of your heroes. If they can be debilitated by its affects, then we are certainly vulnerable as well.  Moses and Elijah were two Old Testament heroes of faith who stood head and shoulders above the people of their time.  Moses triumphantly delivered over two million people out of slavery.  He did it through faith, obedience and courage.  They literally walked away from their captivity.  Elijah faced off with an evil king, stood alone against 450 prophets of the false god Baal and walked away with a resounding victory for the one true God.

We love the heroism of these stories.  What we often don’t pay attention to is the stories after these victorious events. God would continue to require more of these leaders, and they both experienced burnout in the aftermath.  n fact, in the depths of their burnout experiences, both Moses and Elijah even despaired of life.  This really shows us how insidious burnout can be.  It can creep into and take over the lives of the most powerful, faithful and courageous heroes.

Lessons to fight back

The experiences of Moses and Elijah teach us profound lessons to help us fight back against burnout. Some of those lessons have to do with understanding our limitations and being open to receiving the right kinds of help.  These things may sound easy to do, but they are the exact opposite. Observing the stories of our two heroes makes this challenge plain. When in the throes of fighting burnout, we become blind and deaf to the solution-oriented things around us. All we are capable of seeing is what our own mind is open to and what our own eyes can observe.

Check out our March 16, 2020 podcast, “How Do I Avoid Burnout? (Part II)” for more.  There are concrete answers to this serious dilemma and we list them out.  Moses and Elijah show us even higher levels of heroism as they each overcame their burnout experience.  Don’t miss how this is done!

 

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March 09, 2020

Ep.1116: How Do I Avoid Burnout? (Part I)

Recognizing and resolving issues that contribute to burnout

If you do not have a password, please subscribe to our FREE Premium Content for the Full Edition version of CQ Rewind. The welcome message will contain your password, and a reminder will be sent each week when the CQ Rewind is available online for you to read, print, or download.

CHAPTERS

[00:16:01]
What does burnout look like?


[00:30:14]
Resiliency is an remedy for burnout. What does Job teach us about resiliency?


[00:45:13]
What can we do to avoid heading in the wrong direction when under extreme stress?


[01:03:31]
What practical ways can we stand firm against burnout?


Theme Scripture: Job 10:1

It is a common saying that the two things you can count on in life are death and taxes.  While that might be true, there is another thing lurking in the background of the lives of more and more people every day:  BURNOUT.  With all of the overstimulation a technology-based society produces, we are set up for burnout.  With what seem like ever-increasing job demands, we are set up for burnout.  Personal communications are instant, always available and on multiple platforms, and we feel we need to respond instantly as well.  This sets us up for – you guessed it – burnout.  This is just what applies to us - the average, "go to work and make a living" person.  Medical professionals, first responders, military men and women – all set up for this scary precedent!  This is serious.  What can we as Christians do to recognize, respond to and relieve this dangerous pattern in our lives and the lives of others?

Continue Reading

Looking at the medical field

To be able to overcome burnout, you first need to understand it.  Looking at the medical field, we find detailed explanations of how it works.  We also find lots of practical experience.  It turns out, the people who help us understand it are also the ones who suffer greatly from burnout themselves.  As part of our journey to crack the burnout code, we interviewed a Christian medical professional who has suffered from it.  Hannah’s story set a foundation of experience for us, upon which we could build practical knowledge.

Health care industry - everyday burnout - spiritual burnout

We chose to observe burnout as affecting three different categories of people.  First are the health care professionals, first responders and military personnel. These are the men and women on the front lines, who have the lives of others in their hands. Their burnout is associated with always needing to do the right thing in very imperfect circumstances, and often with less than adequate support.  Second, there are the rest of us who find burnout as a result of our jobs, our lives, disease, trauma and unforeseen circumstances.  The third category we labeled as spiritual burnout, meaning feeling isolated and far from God as you strive to serve Him.

Looking to Job for answers

The good news is that the same basic principles of burnout recovery apply to each of these three specific categories.  To illustrate this, we used the example of Job, the Bible character who tragically lost everything. He burned out but in the end remained faithful to God.  How did that happen?  Where did he go wrong and what did he do right?

Check out our March 9, 2020 podcast, “How Do I Avoid Burnout? (Part 1)” for more.  Between Hannah’s medical and Christian insights and Job’s tragic losses and unhelpful “comforters,” we find many points of reference to build upon.  The bottom line is:  walking the path towards burnout is a pressure-filled journey that pulls us away from our best selves.  Walking away from it is possible but challenging.  In Part 1 of our two-part series, we help you discover how to succeed.  Don’t miss this vital input to prepare you for Part II!

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February 24, 2020

Ep.1114: Did the Apostle Paul Contradict Jesus?, Contradiction Series

Decoding Jesus' treatment of the Law through the words of Paul

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View Series

CHAPTERS

[00:12:30]
Did Jesus and Paul disagree on how long the Law would be applicable?


[00:31:24]
How did Jesus replace parts of the Law? What parts are left for us to obey today?


[00:47:30]
Did new Gentile converts have to participate in the ceremonies of the Law?


[01:00:52]
Did Jesus' death mean the judicial part of the Law was no longer applicable?


Theme Scripture: Matthew 5:17

There is no denying the New Testament - and actually the entire Bible - is all about Jesus. His sacrifice for humanity is proclaimed from Genesis to Revelation. He IS the key to the gospel. Having said this, the life and writings of the Apostle Paul dominate much of the New Testament. His experiences and teachings are pronounced, and in the eyes of many, go too far. Critics see the Apostle Paul as a combatant against the gospel of the kingdom Jesus taught. The basis for their criticism is the way Jesus reflected the role of the Jewish Law and the way that Paul essentially wrote it off. How do we manage this? Was Paul at odds with the core values and teaching of Jesus?

Continue Reading

Jesus vs. Paul?

One of the big debates in the early church raging on even today is whether or not Paul threw out the Jewish Law that Jesus not only followed but confirmed in Luke 16:17: "But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail." Critics argue that Jesus never said Christians DON'T have to fall in line under the Law's many requirements. On the other hand, Paul was clear that the new Gentile converts would NOT be subject to all the Law's requirements like circumcision and food restrictions. Who was right? Aren't we all taught that at least the 10 Commandments are valid in their admonitions to love God, love our neighbor and so forth?

Moral - Ceremonial - Judicial

The key to cracking this case is understanding that the Jewish Law was divided into three parts:  moral, ceremonial and judicial. The moral law of love, as expressed in the 10 Commandments, will never be replaced. It remained in play for both Jew and Gentile. In God’s future kingdom, it will stand as a beautiful requirement for all of mankind.

Shadow vs. Reality

Not only did the ceremonial parts have to do with cleanliness of people and food, but also how the Israelites atoned for their sins with sacrifices. Special sacrifices were required year after year in order to temporarily “cleanse” them of sins. This allowed a relationship with the heavenly Father to continue as long as the people remained in that clean state. These are recorded in great detail in the Old Testament. In hindsight, we see these foreshadowed the monumental sacrifice of Jesus that allowed the early Christians to have a relationship with God. This applies to Christians throughout the age - right down to you and me. The comparison between the “shadow” of the literal ceremonial events with how Jesus fulfilled them as the reality of the shadow is striking and faith-inspiring. Paul explains in many texts how Jesus replaced this part of the Law.

After Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection, the ceremonial parts of the Law were no longer necessary to have a relationship with God. (And they were completely obsolete after the Temple burned down in 70 A.D.!) What about the judicial parts of the Law? These had to do with pronouncing and administering the consequences to breaking the Law. But with the ceremonial parts obsolete, the judicial part would necessarily shift to personal responsibility of how we are judged and how we judge others. On this point, it is easy to show how Jesus and Paul agreed.

Christianity was not to be a sect of Judaism. Jesus’ death and resurrection changed everything – except the fundamental law of LOVE. Listen to our podcast from February 24, 2020 called, “Did the Apostle Paul Contradict Jesus?” It is the last of our four-part series on the Apostle Paul and really brings the details of the controversy front and center. Paul lived, breathed and taught Jesus and the gospel 24/7. He devoted his life to being a faithful steward. What an example for all of us!